Castle & Cooke to develop condo project in Kakaako on Kamehameha Schools land

Dec 6, 2013, 2:25pm HST UPDATED: Dec 6, 2013, 2:40pm HST

Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News

Castle & Cooke Inc. will join Hawaii developers such as Alexander & Baldwin Inc. and Stanford Carr Development in developing a residential condominium project in Kakaako as part of landowner Kamehameha Schools’ “Our Kakaako” master plan.

Anthony Ching, executive director of the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the state agency charged with redeveloping Kakaako, confirmed to PBN that Castle & Cooke would build reserved housing units along Keawe Street between Pohukaina and Auahi streets, Diamond Head of Waterfront Towers.

Castle & Cooke, which is best known for building single-family residential projects, such as Mililani and the recently approved 3,500-home Koa Ridge project, both in Central Oahu, would be stepping into somewhat unchartered waters with this condo project.

“Castle & Cooke being interested shouldn’t be surprising,” Ching said. “Everyone needs to produce inventory to sell. You have to put stuff in the pipeline.”

He also pointed out that the demand for housing is at a fever pitch and that more inventory is greatly needed.

“Urban Honolulu is going to be an attractive area,” Ching said. “Many of our local developers are not into luxury, maybe mid-market or low market.”

The parcel currently has several businesses on it, including Volcanic Rock Gym.

Kamehameha Schools recently presented the plan to the Ala Moana/Kakaako Neighborhood Board.

Larry Hurst, chairman of the board, told PBN that the planned project isn’t a high-rise, and instead consists of six stories.

“It’s a good thing,” he said. “They’re looking for a variance on their parking structure.”

Kamehameha Schools did not immediately responded to a request for comment by PBN.

But Bruce Barrett, executive vice president of Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii, told PBN that the developer is in discussions with Kamehameha Schools for the Keawe Street project.

“Discussions are ongoing and we expect to be able to make a formal announcement within the next 60 days,” he said in an email statement to PBN.

The Kamehameha Schools’ Kakaako master plan, which includes nearly 30 acres and nine full-block parcels with 2,750 residential units and commercial space, is beginning to take shape.

In September, PBN first reported that MK Development, a joint venture of well-known Hawaii developers the Kobayashi Group and The MacNaughton Group, is purchasing six acres in Kakaako to develop two luxury mixed-use housing projects totaling about 500 units.